Posted in Bite size learning, Management, mindfulness, motivation, Stress management

Zoom fatigue, how to combat it…?

Zoom fatigue is a new saying in our new world of working. For the first time we are forced to focus more intently on each other. In a conference room we can whisper to a colleague, day dream and look out the window. On Zoom we are there on the screen absorbing information and looking out front. This constant gaze does not allow or accommodate peripheral vision.

We have all see the Zoomers who can’t do it, they fidget whilst on the call, their eyes are drifting to their phones or they are checking their emails. Everyone can see their straying eye contact and their lack of focus and can be as exhausting to watch as you demonstrate exemplary focus.

The secret is to relax and enjoy the conversation, make eye contact with the person speaking and forget you are on video. The more consciously you are aware of the video and focus on yourself the more you will lose the flow of the chat.

Make notes, this is not rude it shows you are engaged and genuinely interested in what the person is saying and it helps with your concentration levels. Paper and pen is better so that there is no clicking or other screen involved.

Everyone has had a play with the fun backgrounds, however this is extra visual stimuli. The plainer your background the more concentration you will get from your Zoomers.

Be comfortable with each other, make a consensus all screens/no screens so that everyone is in the same boat. We are in it together.

Social events on Zoom can be exhausting if they are a mass free for all. By having a facilitator or some fun exercises does give the call a little more structure. We all might be quizzed out, however they are more successful than a free for all.

Overall if you are totally Zoomed out, why not go back to using the phone for the odd piece of communication, it might be just as effective.

Top tips for Zooming

  • Don’t multi task
  • Put your phone out of sight
  • Turn off the tabs on your computer so the only screen visible is Zoom
  • Have a clear desk – your eyes will drift
  • Make all Zoom calls one hour maximum
  • Agree as a group to have screens on or off – consensus
  • Encourage simple backgrounds or all go for the same one
  • Decide whether the call needs Zoom
  • Ensure that socials have some form of structure
  • Make notes
  • Relax and enjoy
  • Make eye contact with person speaking
  • Forget about the video

Please do get in touch for workshops with your team or coaching for yourself bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, coaching, Decision Making, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, motivation

Being resilient…

“Self-esteem is as important to our well-being as legs are to a table.  It is essential for physical and mental health and for happiness” – Louise Hart

The definition of the word resilient:-

(of a person or animal) able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions.
(of a substance or object) able to recoil or spring back into shape after bending, stretching, or being compressed.
Understanding that resilience is all about bouncing back, we need to know how it is made up, what are the ingredients of resilience and can it be measured.

If we were to take the metaphor of the table we can explain what each table leg represents an element of resilience and the table top pulls all the components together.

The Resilience Table

Leg One – Mental toughness, how robust are you at staying in the role of decision maker.  Using all your logical thinking skills to way up pros and cons and be aware of problem and solutions as they arise.

Leg Two – Physical energy, staying strong and being able to attend continuous meetings still with a smile and bringing energy to every event.

Leg Three – Emotional balance, being measured in reponses to others and demonstrating empathy.  A support for others with a balanced view and the appropriate emotional response.

Leg Four – Social skills – naturally adept at making everyone feel comfortable in your space.  Being your own person and not being swept into negative behaviours, managing your own self esteem and confidence about who you are.

Table Top – Sense of purpose, a meaning to what you are doing, the core of who you are.  This holds the legs and is the most important place to start when thinking about your resilient levels.

The table top is where we need to ask ourselves “Why do we do what we do? this will uncover your meaningful purpose will help create strong table legs.

Give yourself a score out of 10 for each of the table legs and constantly monitor why one might be high and one low.  You will have to nurture and look after each leg and ensure that they are totally connected to the table top.

At nuggets we have designed a workshop on Being Resilient here are the objectives and what you will gain.

Being Resilient 

Programme Objectives 

  • Understanding how to monitor your resilience levels
  • Exploring the theory of Mindset by Professor Carol Dweck
  • Making the five pillars of resilience practical and applicable
  • Applying the kindness method to creating new habits and rituals

What will you gain?

  • Recognising how to switch from a fixed mindset to a growth mindset
  • Identifying which of the five pillars of resilience needs to be developed
  • Adopting new habits and rituals
  • Practical action plan

Please do get in touch if you are interested bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

(can be one person or a small group) over Zoom at the cost of £100

 

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, motivation

Building your team’s resilience…

We need to get to know our team better than ever during these uncertain and unknown times.  There are three main resilience factors to gauge:-

  1. Measure their levels of confidence
  2. Understand and ensure that they have disciplined routines of work
  3. Check in on how much family and social support they have

These factors then can create a resilience dashboard where you can check-in with each direct report and know how you need to top them up in certain areas.

The new challenges can shake individuals confidence and as a leader your job is to praise and acknowledge good decisions they are making.  Actively convey faith in them and give them more responsibility and recognise mistakes as tools for improvement.  Chat about how comfortable they feel with the video conferencing and share tips on making it work, and encourage telephone calls as well as video.

Understand how your team are working with new routines and ensure they have a good set up.  Respect new working hours around home schooling and provide resources to make their job as easy as it can be in the circumstances.

The greatest gift you can give your team at present is empathy.  Fully support and understand their family circumstances and be there as a listener.

Studies show that one of the best ways to foster resilience is through coaching.

COVID-19 has narrowed our ability to see the future, however studies show that the more you look at the long view the more resilient you are.  Admiral Jim Stockdale who was held captive in the Vietnam war said the optimists who thought they would be rescued immediately died of broken hearts.  The other prisoners who worked hard at being in captivity somehow made it work.  There fore don’t be afraid to ask your team “What plans do you have in place for working remotely for longer…?”  They might not like this question initially however the more comfortable and open you make the discussion the better initiatives will be put in place.

Look at talents you have within your team, can they share learning.  Externally see what is on offer for your team with learning providers.  Apply “Black box thinking” to mistakes  encourage team members to review their failures and see them as learning opportunities.

The most resilient teams will be the one that improvise and they will emerge stronger as people and as a team.

Please do get in touch for coaching bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk 

Please do also join the nuggets bookclub which runs every Friday @ 10.00am this week we will be reviewing “The Present” by Spencer Johnson.

Posted in Bite size learning, Emotional Intelligence, Leadership, mindfulness, motivation, personal impact, Relationships

Start with Why…?

The title of Simon Sinek’s bestselling book first published in 2009.  It is coming up to its 10th Anniversary and Sinek is running a live book club every Friday for people to ask questions around the content.  As it is the 10th anniversary he is also going to update the book.

Start with why seems very real and pertinent when we are all in lock down.  We have time to answer a lot of Whys?

  • Why do we do the job we do?
  • Why did we do that long commute day after day?
  • Why is working from home such challenge?

The emphasis of the book is not what you do or how you do it but why you do it?

The why is within all of us we just need to find it.

At this time when we are worried about the stability of our mental health we need to look at how the brain works in conjunction with our Why?

What we do is a neocortex function, practical and easy to understand, you do what you do without much challenge or feeling.  How you do things and why you do them is connected to our limbic brain where all our emotional responses come from.

Think about your line manager do you believe what he or she believes? Do you work together because of what you do or is it because of why you do it.

Please take a look at the Why questions if you are working and if you are not working and you have been furloughed still take time to answer the questions:-

  • Why does your company exist?
  • Why do you get out of bed in the morning?
  • Why should anyone care?

Why is your purpose whether it be a company or an individual.  At the moment people our getting out of bed to home school or they might be providing a service for their company (do they know why it matters).

Please do join me this Friday for nuggets business book review club where we will be discussing “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek

You are invited to a Zoom meeting.
When: Apr 24, 2020 10:00 AM London

Register in advance for this meeting:
https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJIrcOygpjsvGtNJgr81klMybc3VxM5CwqPL

There is no need to have read the book and as a refresher or those that our new to the concept have a look at his original TED talk https://www.ted.com/talks/simon_sinek_how_great_leaders_inspire_action?language=en

 

 

 

 

Posted in Bite size learning, coaching, Emotional Intelligence, Learning, motivation

Not yet…

You didn’t fail you just have “not yet” achieved what you wanted to achieve.  “Not yet” is so much better than the message you have failed.

We are currently facing many new challenges and we have to keep saying its “not yet” how I want it to be, but I am going to keep working hard until it is how I want it.

This power of thinking comes from Professor Carol S Dweck who wrote the book Mindset.

She explains how children approached some difficult puzzles she set up for them.  A group of them came out with statements:-

  • “I love a challenge”
  • “I was hoping this was going to be informative” 

She was impressed by the understanding that the harder they worked the more their mind would grow.

However other children gave up and did not want to fail so it was easier not to attempt harder puzzles.

This is the basis of the book, adopting a Growth Mindset or having a Fixed Mindset.

Students either find the power of yet or are locked by the tyranny of now.  If you have a fixed mindset and you don’t do very well you may well:-

  • Decide to cheat rather than study
  • Find some-one with a worse grade than yourself
  • Run from the difficulty

Therefore if we are to grow the next generation we need to talk to them about yet instead of now.  We must not just focus on the grades they have now, we must talk to them about the bigger picture, the possibilities that they have yet to get to.

Evidence shows already that young workers often look for constant reward.  To prevent this in organisations we need to be praising the process, focus and perseverance they have demonstrated not just the result.   Research shows that if we do praise talent and intelligence in isolation we can actually make the individual vulnerable.  We limit their stretch, they do not want to risk their reputation by putting themselves in areas where they do not know stuff.

If we learn something new and study really hard, pictures of the brain show that we actually create stronger neurones.

We need to transform the view of effort and difficulty, we should be praising individuals for exposing their lack of skill.

From a very personal experience I found reading very hard and it was easier to not look stupid than to work at it.  Eventually at the age of 10 years old I had a teacher who made me read out loud just to her and gave me the confidence I needed.  She rewarded my effort by giving me key roles in the classroom.  Suddenly the pain and difficulty of reading seemed possible and the doors that it opened were endless.

Please do join me on Friday for the nuggets business book review and summary club where we will be discussing Mindset by Carol S Dweck.

You are invited to a Zoom meeting.
When: Apr 17, 2020 10:00 AM London

Register in advance for this meeting:
https://zoom.us/meeting/register/upQtcumtpj0vZkeFvOhZeBQsHYDOjE1XUw

 

Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, coaching, Emotional Intelligence, motivation

Who moved my…

We are all experiencing change which always involves loss.  We have lost our routine, office and the immediacy of our colleagues.  The stages of change are as follows:-

  • Shock/surprise – we all experienced this last week
  • Denial – the questions in our head was this really happening
  • Frustration – the realisation of what the restrictions would mean
  • Despair/Depression – the reality and enormity of the situation
  • Experimentation – this will be this week, trying to work differently
  • Decisions – further ahead we may well decide to work this way forever
  • Integration – the experimentation and decisions have all come together

These stages come from the Elisabeth Kubler-Ross change curve and whilst I have listed them very straightforwardly they possibly will not flow in this way.  We will go through every stage however we might move backwards and forwards and there will be no guide as to how long we stay on the change curve.

The book “Who moved my cheese…” by Dr Spencer Johnson explains change in a more human and emotional context.  There are four characters in the book which you can all identify with.  There are two mice with small rodent brains who do not over analyse change and ride with the times and move with the change.  The two little people in the story Hem And Haw over think the change and experience fear of it and the world of uncertainty.

Hem is frozen by change and will not change his behaviour or try new thinking.  At the start of last week I felt very like Hem myself, I could not see how my business could move forward and like a lot of people felt emotional and panicked by the circumstances.

The character Haw faces his fear and moves forward, which is what I did by the mid point of the week.  My business can adapt to the circumstances and my behaviour, thinking can experience new challenges.  This is the beginning of the changes I am making:-

  • I have advised all my coaching clients that we will continue our sessions using zoom and whilst we won’t have 2 hours face to face, we can still see each other for an hour, and more often which will be more beneficial.
  • My 90 minute workshops are a great way to boost team morale and can also be delivered over zoom.
  • nuggets is also opening a business book review club that starts this Friday at 10.00am with the first book being reviewed “Who moved my cheese…”

Please do stay in touch with nuggets and let us know how we can help you adapt with the change.  bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk

Read “Who moved my cheese…” this week and join us on Friday to chat through which character you were and how your initiatives and thinking are going.

You are invited to a Zoom meeting. 
When: Mar 27, 2020 10:00 AM London 
 
Register in advance for this meeting:
 
Posted in Bite size learning, Change management, Emotional Intelligence, Management, mindfulness, motivation

Sharing your office at home…

Running your own business and being based at home means we are ready for this phase of home working, but will it be the same?

At the moment I have a lovely office all to myself, I fear the invasion will begin with husband and children wanting to be in that space.  There will be no more lighting candles and having the radio on while I work.

My husband’s phone calls are so loud, the High Street will know the deal he is working on.  The 15 year old cannot work without food constantly being consumed.  The 17 year old is quite messy (she will hate me for saying that).  The clear desk policy will be hard to implement.

My ideas for making it work will be rota or finding new areas to work where we can all be happy with our own rituals.

Everyone in these crazy times has to be resourceful and as family we will work the desk and office space.

Top tips for working from home:-

  • Start the day by writing down what you want to achieve
  • Work out your best time for working
  • Clear the office of any distractions
  • Create the environment you want to work in – make it comfortable
  • Work in blocks – use the pommodoro technique
  • Reward yourself at the breaks with coffee…
  • Socialise with who is in the house at the same time – water cooler moments
  • Take a lunch hour – go outside (you would at the office)
  • Be disciplined about when you stop work (without a commute you might be inclined to work longer)
  • Keep work in a separate area to where you relax (no laptop on your lap while watching TV)

Please do get in touch if you would like any help or advice on home working bev@nuggetsoflearning.co.uk